Volunteers clean Verona's new park
Thank you volunteers! The June 20 cleanup was a total success!
The upcoming Historic Park & Nature Preserve is located at 42 Grove Avenue in Verona. Three of Verona's civic groups are coming together to create a small park on the site of a 19th century community gathering place that was later the homestead of Dr. Henry B. Whitehorne, the namesake of Verona's middle school.
In the early 1800s the lot that is now 42 Grove Avenue was the site of Personett’s Grove, a favorite meeting place for picnics, religious meetings and Fourth of July celebrations. Later Dr. Whitehorne built his home on the site. Whitehorne's home was destroyed by fire in the 1960s. The Weathon family owned the property until 1966. And the 1.33 acre lot was sold to the town in 1975 by Congregation Beth Ahm, formerly the Jewish Community Center of Verona.
Now the wooded lot will be restored as a historic park and nature preserve, thanks to a joint effort by the Verona Environmental Commission, the Junior Woman's Club of Verona and the Verona Historical Society. The existing woods will be preserved and a short, sustainable nature trail will be created around the land's natural and historic features. Park benches and signage with information about the history of the site will be added. Open space provides many benefits to the community. In rapidly growing urban areas, any preserved land can offer relief from congestion. The Junior Woman's Club and the Historical Society are each donating $2,000 to the project. The property has a significant historical value. Grove Avenue got its name from Personett's Grove. We appreciate the town's commitment to this preservation effort.
Volunteers Clean The Peckman!
The Verona Environmental Commission organized a community cleanup of the Peckman river and woods on April 11. The environmental clubs from Verona High School and Montclair University helped make the event a success.
About 50 people donated their time to take care of the woods adjacent to the Peckman River, helping to keep our waterways and trails safe and healthy for wildlife and for people. You can see several pictures of the event HERE. The group included a large number of students from Verona High School and Montclair University. The Peckman Trail entrance is located behind F. N. Brown School, at 125 Grove Ave. in Verona.
Volunteers Install Birdhouses
The VEC purchased Bat, Screetch Owl and Bluebird houses with grant money and installed them along the Peckman trail with help from volunteers. The bat box was installed on a dead tree near the river. The best locations to install bat houses include rivers and streams since they are natural flyways for bats. New Jersey supports 6 year round resident bat species, the 2 species that people come into contact most frequently are big brown bats and little brown bats. Bats eat many harmful garden pests and mosquitoes. Eastern Screetch Owls like their houses in deep afternoon shade and preys on mice, voles and large insects such as moths and beetles. The Eastern Bluebird house was installed facing the open field. They feed by dropping to the ground onto insects or, in fall and winter, by perching on fruiting trees to gulp down berries.
Verona Awarded Bronze Certification
Geocaching in Verona
Geocaches are hidden in many places in Verona. The VEC placed a new geocache along the municipal Peckman Trail, near the Peckman River. Get the GPS coordinates HERE. Use a smartphone or GPS device to navigate to the provided coordinates. Look for a regular hidden container. When you find it, write your name and date in the logbook. If you take something from the container, leave something in exchange. What is Geocaching? Watch the video - Geocaching ("jee-oh-cash-ing") is a fun modern-day treasure hunt. It is a family friendly way to exercise body and mind. The Peckman Trail entrance is behind the sport fields of F.N. Brown School (125 Grove Avenue in Verona) and has a kiosk with a trail map. The trail is maintained by the VEC and community volunteers. Map the location. Happy geocaching!
New Anti Idling ResolutionAt the VEC encouragement, the Verona Town Council approved a Resolution adopting a strong Anti Idling policy last January. The resolution essentially reinforces existing NJ State Law which prohibits idling in your car or truck beyond 3 minutes while parked. It also encourages drivers to turn off their engines immediately, especially in schools, drive through windows, gas stations, parking lots, etc. Municipally-owned vehicles are also included in the anti-idling campaign. Emissions from gasoline and diesel powered vehicles contribute significantly to air pollution, including greenhouse gases, ozone formation, fine particulates, and a multitude of potentially harmful pollutants that can trigger various respiratory ailments such as asthma. Enforcing this resolution would significantly improve public health, air quality, reduce costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
The VEC at Fair in the Square
Despite the cold and windy weather it was festive all day long with crafts and composting demonstrations (including a real composter on site). Kids made over 40 pine cone bird feeders and several snowflake ornaments with plastic bottles from HBW, previously cut by students from the Environmental Club. Several kids hung their bird feeders from nearby trees while others took them home with a brochure to help them identify common backyard birds. The commission also distributed composting brochures.
Verona Wins 2014 Environmental Award
ANJEC) presented its Environmental Achievement Awards to six local environmental commissions at the organization’s 41st Annual Environmental Congress on Oct. 24 at Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg. This year’s Award winners include Environmental Commissions from Chatham Township, Manalapan, Oakland, Verona, West Windsor and Westville. The Hawthorne Environmental Commission earned honorable mention. Pictured VEC members Gloria Machnowski and Jim Loudon with former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean, the keynote speaker at the event that gathered about 200 environmentalists from around the state. The VEC received the award for its recycling education campaign and video “Verona Recycling 101” produced by the commission in collaboration with students from the Verona High School Environmental Club and the the town's recycling manager. During the congress VEC commissioners also attended workshops such as "Trends in Local Open Space Preservation" and "New Jersey Water Supply".
Proclamation for Shimonaski
All those trees planted in the curb strips along most streets are Township Trees. Also, in a few specific locations just inside the sidewalks, right of way, and in public recreation areas. Verona has been a Tree City for 26 consecutive years.Request for Township planting, pruning and removal should be made by calling Public Works at 973-857-4804. To learn more about The Verona Shade Tree Commission, our Township Trees and how to help them please READ HERE. Residents are encouraged to contact the police at 911 to report any emergency and (973) 239-5000 regarding any police related matter. Trees or power lines that have come down should be reported.
VEC Annual Report:
Please read HERE our 2014 report. The township encourages all residents to plant native trees and reduce, reuse, recycle, and compost as much of their household waste as possible. The Verona Recycling Center located at 10 Commerce Ct. is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays, 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. You can access a live feed from Nixle here.
Verona's 1st Green Fair!
Liberty Science Center TechniArt, PAWS of Montclair, NJ Electric Auto Association, Morgan's Farm, Moms Clean Air Force, Verona Spine & Wellness, Verona Yoga, Alternative Fuel Education by Ron Grosinger, US Green Building Council of NJ and Essex County Master Gardeners among many others. Local organizations included the DPW with E-Waste Collection, VMAC & Verona Police with Unwanted Medicine Drop-off, Verona Library with a book swap, Hilltop Conservancy, Verona Girl Scout Tropp 21221, Verona Health Department and Recreation Department. There was live music all day, including the talented Matt Hartke. Food was provided by the Thai Elephant. Pedal Montclair and Learning Express donated items for giveaways. The complete list is available here - Great job everyone!
Green Fair: 2 min. video of Verona's First Green Fair, May 30th, 2015 in the Civic Center. For a complete list of participants please visit Sustainable Verona
Alternative Fuel Education: We interviewed students that excel at converting cars to run on electric at the Verona Green Fair, May 30, 2015. The car was originally converted from gas to electric by Memorial High School students, in West New York, NJ. Their teacher, Ron Grosinger, showed the car at the fair with Mark Balzarette, an adjunct professor Bergen Community College and Kassem Alhussien, a former student from Memorial HS.
Sustainable Verona: the VEC produced this 6 min. video with artwork submitted by Verona students to our 2014 Poster Contest. We received over two hundred entries from public school students grades K to 12. The video shows a hundred of those posters. Great job everyone!
Verona Recycling 101: 6-minute video produced by the VEC in collaboration with students from thee High School Environmental Club. This video received a 2014 Environmental Achievement Award from the Association of NJ Environmental Commissions. The video was shot at the Verona Recycling Center, located at 10 Commerce Court in Verona (map) and open to the public Wednesday and Saturday 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. For more information please visit our Solid Waste and Recycling page and refer to the 2014 Verona Garbage and Recycling Schedule.
Kids Ride to the Peckman Trail: 3 minutes video made by Verona kids with helmet camera.
Wastewater Treatment Facility: the commission produced this 8-minute video, please watch it to learn how you can help protect our waterways (click on the lower right corner icon for full screen).
Go Idle Free Verona is a 2 minute video from the VEC and it is part of the commission's campaign against unnecessary vehicle idling. The video was entirely shot and edited by VEC members in Verona. The commission would like to especially thank the HBW Environmental Club and the kids from Verona for their participation and support. We invite you to watch it and learn how you can help to enhance Verona's air quality (click on the lower right corner icon for full screen). An idling vehicle emits 20 times more pollution than one traveling at 30 miles per hour! NJ State Law prohibits idling more than three minutes for both diesel and gasoline non-emergency vehicles. Please Turn the Key -Be Idle Free!
Verona Recycling Help Verona save money and go green. Click "play" below to watch our video and reduce, reuse and recycle as much as you can in Verona!
Let’s encourage kids to walk to school and support them by improving air quality and safe driving. Please watch our video presentation Idle Free Verona and spread the word!